- Warneck, Gustav
- (1834-1910)leading German Protestant missiologistGustav Warneck was born on March 6, 1834, in Naumburg. After completing his studies at the University of Halle (1855-58), he became a tutor and counselor at a nearby school. He wished to become a missionary, but poor health prevented his acceptance. He served as a parish minister (1862-71, 1874-96) and worked for the Rhenish Mission in Barmen (1871-74). During his pastorate at Dommitzsch, he completed his doctorate at Jena (1871).Warneck began to build his reputation as a scholar of the missionary enterprise. in 1874, he started a journal, Allegemeine Missions-Zeitschrift, which he edited for the next 37 years. In 1879, he wrote a study on the interaction of mission and culture, published in Scotland in 1883 as Modern Missions and Culture: Their Mutual Relations. However, he is most remembered for his Evangelische Missionslehre, whose five volumes appeared between 1887 and 1905. it presented a comprehensive survey of the theory of missiology, and became the foundation upon which future study developed.Warneck criticized John R. Mott and the Student Volunteer Movement for perpetuating what he considered a superficial and naïve approach. He challenged popular notions that the world could be evangelized in a single generation, or that missionary activity could have an effect on the timing of Christ's return. He also criticized those who evangelized without thinking about the additional task of making disciples of converts. At the same time, he championed the work of the various independent missionary agencies that had appeared, especially in Germany, for picking up the task that the older Reformation churches had neglected.Warneck retired in 1908 but continued to write until his death on December 26, 1910. War-neck's writings had considerable influence in Europe, but had less impact in England and North America, since little was translated. Ideas that have caught on are his proposal for regular international missionary conferences and for a central committee to provide continuity for missionary agencies. He lived to see the famous missions conference at Edinburgh in 1910, which ultimately led to the International Missionary Council (1921)Further reading:■ Hans Kasdorf, "Gustav Warneck, 1834-1910: Founder of the Scholary Study of Missions," in Gerald H. Anderson, Robert T. Cotte, Norman A. Horner and James M. Phillips, eds., Mission Legacies: Biographical Studies of Leaders of the Modern Missionary Movement (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1998), 272-82■ Gustav Warneck, Evangelische Missionslehre, 5 vols. (Gotha: Frederich Andreas Perthes, 1887-1905); , Modern Missions and Culture: Their Mutual Relations, trans. by Thomas Smith (Edinburgh: James Grammell, 1883).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.